Venture capital scion Marc Andreessen predicted years ago that software would eat the world. Now his instinct for prescience is backed up by hard numbers as experts from Oxford Economics reveal the results of a new study today. Commissioned by CA Technologies, the global study shows how important applications are becoming in establishing competitive advantage in today’s economy.
It found that within three years, most businesses will be software-driven and that today 43 percent of businesses already see becoming a software-driven enterprise as a critical driver for competitive advantage.
“No longer is it enough for companies to have superior products or services,” wrote Jacqueline Gold, senior analyst for Oxford Economics and author of the survey report. “Today, success depends on increased agility and time-to-market, better customer service, and a better overall customer experience—and these mandates require an increasing ability to leverage software.”
These drivers are already having a drastic impact in a number of areas today. Nearly half of companies say that it has helped them with market share and time-to-decision. And while only a little over a third believe it has improved their overall financial performance, 62 percent believe that in three years it will translate to financial health.
Interestingly, Oxford Economics’ analysis found that enterprises that were bet able to adjust to become software-based organizations also emphasized internal application development. Overall, the survey showed that 50 percent of respondents are bringing more software development back in-house.
As IT departments shift to this new reality of the application economy, many will need to re-architect their processes and culture to support greater business agility through software. Approximately 58 percent of organizations say they’ve instituted or plan to institute process improvements and 56 percent say they’ve implemented or plan to implement more collaboration across business units and functions.
According to the survey, DevOps skills rank among the top three skills businesses have identified as necessary to develop and recruit to keep up with the software-oriented focus necessary for success in the future. Approximately 20 percent identified it as a highly important skill, compared with 21 percent who ranked collaboration and 22 percent who ranked data science as highly important. Other key skills included API development and usage, analytics, and programming and development. Clearly there’s crossover in these skills category, with the prevailing trend being that organizations need to find a way to write better code faster, use data to its fullest, integrate application frameworks well and ultimately work well as a team to accomplish these goals.